What a Spike TV VGA Show Should Really Be

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Spike TV‘s 2011 Video Game Awards were met with some improvements but the overall experience could have been much better. As I read some after-thoughts, reviews and videos about the award show, there’s a general consensus amongst Gamers about what should have been and not have been in the show.

What Goes Into An Award Show

As with any award show, the audience and topic of the show matters. The Grammy’s showcase the biggest musicians for that year. Therefore the hosts and presenters are going to be known from the music industry. Also, the presentation and features of the show are only focused on music. The audience whether live or at home are going to be music lovers or have something to do with the music industry. The audience also ranges from teen to upper middle age because the quality of music has changed. Before, more older folk attended or viewed the award shows as there were a more mature sound present for the award shows. But over the years, the quality has deteriorated.

 

Pointing this out, award shows now need to be very entertaining especially when there’s a wide view of teens to upper middle-aged populace watching. Video games are enjoyed by millions of people, however Gamers, as defined as players who spend more than 3-5 hours a day or more than 15 hours a week gaming and maintain a certain lifestyle that incorporates any and everything about the products they game on and the industry they buy from, may not be in the millions and are often nonchalant with what’s popular in pop culture. Gamers have their own culture. To appeal to them, events, conferences and award shows need to know, learn, analyze and include that culture with the entertainment of social events.

 

With annual conferences and events like Game Developers Conference and Electronic Entertainment Expo, Gamers don’t really need to have an award show though the award show would be for the developers who created the games that are played relentlessly for that year. If producers are going to mock the very fabric of gaming culture then there is no point to having a recognition event. Developers are awarded in other ways besides getting tea-bagged on national TV.

The Makings of a Great Video Game Award Show

Combining the glory of E3 with the entertainment of an award show is the making of a great awards show. Here’s what could be done:

  • E3 conferences feature speakers from the Big Three, Developers and Publishers. Instead of one main Host, have 1 Microsoft Rep, 1 Sony rep and 1 Nintendo rep hosting the whole night. The event will be split into 3 sections.
  • These 3 sections can have stages representing the system and its games. For example, it’s Microsoft’s turn to host. Have the stage turn green with well-known characters on the background walls and the logos.
  • For individual presenters, the studios behind the World premiere videos should present their own videos, and categories should be presented by the studio with the most recognized title in that genre. For example, Rockstar has a premiere video they should present it, also the category for best adventure open world should be represented by them because they are behind RDR, GTA series, etc and most beloved in that category.

I realize that some of these presenters and hosts aren’t that funny or entertaining. To supplement, here are some suggestions:

  • Have mini events during the show to interact with the audience, live feed and live video from selected participants. These mini events could include an “ask and gift” (a host asks an audience question and whoever gets the correct answer wins a gift), “character versus mode” (dress up ppl in characters from games and fight on stage to see who wins), “behind the scenes” (quick documentary from a selected game or upcoming game), “viewers can win too” (have contests during the show so that viewers can participate), “world scramble” (have live feed from other countries viewing the show or feed to get quick impressions of the world premieres and the show)
  • If using celebrities, have a vote on who should be invited to co-host or make a cameo via the website and social networks. That way the Gamers have a say and won’t be disappointed too much.

To wrap-up, have these setup:

  • Have a large area to preview upcoming games (to tease before E3), have celebs and hosts sign autographs and take pics, give out gifts to winners, have audience take home a quick survey and mail it for feedback, have free goodies from the studios with world premieres or from all the nominations to give out and/or pay for.
  • That section can be the After Party show after the VGA. The After Party can also have special announcements from the upcoming E3 and GDC; quick chats with presenters and hosts; and audience for general feedback.

The possibilities are endless with these suggestions. The Video Game Awards can be what we all hoped they would.

If you have productive suggestions to make about What the VGAs Could Be, please comment.